As an employer, you have a right to protect the information that is critical for the success of your business. However, as an employee, you have the right to advance your career, even if you leave your current employer. Because of this, conflicts may arise if you’ve signed a non-compete agreement.
The state of South Carolina has laws that favor competition and free enterprise, and in general, disapproves of non-compete agreements, yet they are used every day for various reasons.
Additionally, non-compete agreements in South Carolina may be valid if they are drafted to protect an employer’s interest in protecting any trade secrets, and they invest in training their employees their right to make a living.
Enforceable Non-Compete Agreement Requirements in South Carolina
If you are a business owner and want your employees to sign a non-compete agreement, to be valid, they must contain the following provisions:
- Tailored to Employee’s Business Interest: The loss of a trained employee is not enough to have your non-compete agreement found to be valid in a South Carolina court.
- Limited in A Reasonable Manner
- Have a Time Limit: A non-compete agreement that lasts too long. In South Carolina, the courts regularly enforce non-compete agreements that last for two years.
- Geography: If you try to cover geographical areas where you do minimal business or don’t currently do business at all, the non-compete agreement could be found to be invalid.
- Customers: In South Carolina, a non-compete agreement can only protect current customers, not previous or prospective clients.
- Adequate Consideration: It’s always best to have your employee sign a non-compete agreement before they start their job. If you wait and then ask them to sign the agreement, they must be given an additional benefit such as a meaningful bonus, a raise in salary, or event promotion. A gift card or new title accompanying raise, won’t cut it. Also, while South Carolina is an at-will employment state, you cannot fire someone for not signing a non-compete agreement.
Because of South Carolina’s laws, and the way the courts treat non-compete agreements, it would be in your best interest as an employer, to have a skilled and knowledgeable employment lawyer, such as Greenville, South Carolina attorney, Sam Briggs, draft the non-compete agreement for you.
Employees and Non-Compete Agreements in South Carolina
Don’t let your employer push you into signing a non-compete agreement if you start a new job.
If you signed a non-compete agreement, you must understand the specifics of the agreement.
It’s always best to have a South Carolina non-compete agreement lawyer look over any non-compete agreement you are asked to sign. The Greenville, S.C. attorneys at the Briggs Law Firm have the experience to review the agreement and advise you as to your next steps.
If you’re leaving your place of employment and aren’t sure what you can or cannot do because of your non-compete agreement, you should contact a qualified South Carolina employment attorney who can help you understand what your rights are.
Call a Greenville Employment Lawyer Today
If you’re faced with difficulty because of a non-compete agreement, a knowledgeable South Carolina employment law attorney can assist you in avoiding mistakes as you, as an employee, leave your employer and advance your career.
The Greenville, South Carolina lawyers at the Briggs Law Firm works closely with employees and employers in the state of South Carolina to ensure both interests are met by a non-compete agreement and other employment contracts that may be necessary.